Magic fall to Nuggets 120-112

The Denver Nuggets received big scoring contributions from Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler on Wednesday night that helped beat the Orlando Magic 120-112 at Amway Center.

Faried led all scorers with 26 points, while Chandler added 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds. The Nuggets got double-digit scoring from a total of five players, including 20 from J.J. Hickson, 17 from Ty Lawson and 14 from Darrell Arthur.

Chandler credited the way Faried played on why the Nuggets were able to keep the lead and ultimately win the game.

“Faried was being aggressive tonight, he definitely lifted the team up,” said Chandler. “They couldn’t really guard Faried down low so we went to him a few times in the third quarter and he was able to deliver for us.”

Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said after the game that the Nuggets’ 54 points in the paint was a big part of why the Magic lost the game.

“Their bigs were really effective at getting the ball in the paint and scoring the basketball,” said Vaughn. “They played a pretty good pace to get up and down a little bit. Their penetration and their bigs were pretty good tonight.”

The Magic started off the game with a 27-23 lead after the first quarter that was led by Nikola Vucevic’s 12 points and seven rebounds. Faried said the coaching staff made some changes during halftime which helped the Nuggets limit Vucevic to just four points in the second half.

“Coach told me to guard him and get out there and pressure him more and stop letting him get the easy jumpers,” said Faried. “We switched up our scheme and I started guarding him. I was giving him fits because I was boxing him out and making sure he wasn’t getting them easy duck ins or those rebounds he was getting in the first half.”

 Magic guard Arron Afflalo said the loss came down to the effort and the intensity that the team came out with.

“Every individual guy is responsible for that and kind of just collectively makes you a better defensive team,” said Afflalo, who led the Magic with 24 points. “You can’t say you have to do this thing for this game and then it will work. It’s the effort and the intensity.”

The Magic play the Washington Wizards next at home on Friday.